Barb Mickelson of BMdesignsheadwear has always been a maker, student and teacher. Her current work in creative headwear, clothing and accessories reflects years of exploring textile arts in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. This is Barb’s second year launching a collection on the catwalk at FASHFEST.
Barb has won several awards in wearable art in Tasmania and has shown for two consecutive years at the prestigious World of Wearable Art event, Wellington, New Zealand.
BMdesignsheadwear’s collections include complete outfits, dresses, accessories and amazing headwear. Stockings and shoes are often dyed to match other pieces. Barb designs for women in a range of sizes, including fuller figures. Each piece is unique, with form, colour and structure making up a large part of her design philosophy.
Barb’s dresses are cut without the use of conventional patternmaking. She designs for the body, not against it, and drapes and cuts fabric freehand as opposed to using patterns. The result is more individual shapes and textures—comfortable and highly wearable garments that suit all body shapes and sizes. To create her headpieces, Barb often starts by dying fabric using the traditional Japanese method of Shibori, which results in a coloured and textured piece of cloth. Fabric is then wired and twisted to create unique, organic, light and comfortable pieces of headwear art.
At FASHFEST 2015, BMdesignsheadwear’s collection will be inspired by the natural beauty of her home and bush studio in New South Wales. Barb practices sustainable design and throws nothing away.
Barb has studied millinery with Jean Carol, Walraud Reiner, Neil Grigg and Richard Nylon in Australia, and with prominent bespoke milliners, Dillon Walwork, milliner to the Royals, at Chateau Dumas, France. She has also studied textiles and dying techniques with many international artists, including Yuh Okano, and Patricia Black. After attaining a Bachelor of Design (Fashion Design) from CIT, Barb returned to teach creative headwear and textiles.